A Decade of Discovery
First Census Shows Life in Planet Ocean is Richer, More Connected, More Impacted than Expected Culminating a 10-year exploration, 2,700 scientists from 80 nations report first Census of Marine Life, revealing what, where, and how much lives and hides in global oceans; To measure changes caused by climate or oil spills, Census establishes a baseline; New species discovered, marine highways and rest stops mapped, diminished abundance documented; Online Census directory allows anyone to map global addresses of species
Following one of the greatest scientific adventures and collaborations of all time, marine explorers from more than 80 countries today delivered a historic first global Census of Marine Life showing that Planet Ocean is richer in diversity, more complex and interconnected, less explored, and more impacted by human activities than ever imagined.
After more than 9,000 days at sea on more than 540 expeditions, among countless other efforts, over 2,700 marine scientists officially released three landmark new books as well as maps and other products that summarize and cap an inspiring decade of discovery.
The scientists chronicle the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life – from microbes to whales – in key oceanic neighbourhoods, from the treacherous icy poles to the tropics, from the near-shore to the deepest black depths.
They demonstrate the connectivity of ocean life, through the ubiquity of many species, especially tiny and even microscopic forms of life, and through the long distance migrations, both horizontal and vertical, of creatures large and small.
They present an astounding portrait of bountiful ocean life in olden days, maps delineating massive areas of ocean that have never been sampled, a landmark directory of names and addresses of known ocean species against which humanity may monitor upcoming change, and authoritative models of what may be in store in years ahead.
And in the end they have fundamentally changed human understanding of the oceans.
First Census of Marine Life 2010: Highlights of a Decade of Discovery (English, PDF) Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life Life in the World's Oceans Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures of the Census of Marine Life
A 64-page report that describes some of the scientific highlights of ten years of exploration, research and analysis undertaken by
Census of Marine Life scientists. Included is a description of the Census organizational structure.
(summary available in English and 10 other languages)
Video Galleries: B-roll News Conference & Panel Introductory Videos Background Videos
Image Galleries: News Release Images New Species Iconic Images
National Geographic Ocean Life Map: Side 1: Diversity, Distribution, Abundance; Side 2: Past, Present, Future
Paul V. R. Snelgrove. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Alasdair D. McIntyre, Editor. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2010.
A poem by Jesse H. Ausubel titled "The Census of Marine Life is about the total richness of the sea" (PDF) describes the program and serves as the book's Foreword.
Nancy Knowlton. National Geographic Society, 2010.
The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) is the data integration component of the Census of Marine Life and an ongoing resource for global marine biodiversity research. Governance of OBIS has been handed over to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO; OBIS is now part of IOC’s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange program.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation establishes the Sloan Research Fellowships in the field of Ocean Sciences, with the first winners to be announced in early 2012. The impetus for the fellowship was "the outstanding work of the Census’ scientists."
A Census-inspired song, Look to the Sea, by singer/composer Maryann Camilleri, musician Jerry Harrison (formerly of the Talking Heads), and engineer David Dennison (responsible for numerous recordings of Jerry Garcia), with accompanying video produced by National Geographic Television/Digital Studio will be available for free download at 20:00 GMT on 6 October at www.coml.org.
Census discoveries have proven to be an inspiration to artists around the world. The Census of Marine Life-Inspired Artwork (PDF) is a testimony to the excitement generated and the creativity it inspires when the natural and artistic worlds come together.
First Census of Marine Life 2010: Highlights of a Decade of Discovery (English, PDF)
Discoveries of the Census of Marine Life
Life in the World's Oceans
Citizens of the Sea: Wondrous Creatures of the Census of Marine Life